Sunday, January 10, team Episilon eSports emerged as world champions after a long and arduous road. The team defeated perennial winners team Fnatic in the earlier rounds. Then held on to win against Cloud9 a long time Smite fan favorite. Now that the SWC tournament is over Hi-Rez is gearing up for Season 3 of Smite professional play, including a new Japanese themed Joust map planned for early 2016. The prize pool was for $1 million USD, which is smaller than previous World Championships. Hi-Rez tried a different approach for their Season 2 year and split up several prize pots leading up to one major event held this past weekend. Regardless these prize pools pale in comparison to MOBA titans League of Legends and DOTA 2 championships as Smite struggles to move back up in active players.
In addition, Hi-Rez Studios is working on upcoming shooter MOBA Paladins, which is still in beta testing. Several questionnaires have been sent out to testers regarding the status of the game. Unliked other shooter MOBAs with timed testing windows, Paladins has been available 24/7 for testing and launched with solid matchmaking elements in place. Hi-Rez is seeking as much feedback as possible to shape Paladins into an addicting experience as it sets to compete against a bevy of shooter MOBAs releasing some time in 2016. This includes games like Gigantic, Battleborn, and Overwatch.